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Where to Go Out for Drinks in Downtown Brooklyn

If you’re planning a trip to New York City, it is well worth the detour to spend some time experiencing the neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn.

group of friends drinking cold beer at a bar in Downtown Brooklyn

The northwestern region of the borough is filled with diverse and exciting attractions, including a thriving bar culture with craft beer and artisanal wine.

With so many students and young professionals around, Downtown Brooklyn has plenty of cool and interesting bars to spend time in.

Whether I want to relax in a quiet pub or feel sophisticated in a cocktail bar, Downtown Brooklyn is sure to have exactly what I’m looking for.

Brooklyn is a hip and innovative place that constantly has new bars popping up, as well as hidden favorites that the locals love.

To help newcomers to the neighborhood, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best bars to visit in Downtown Brooklyn. Check out my list of the best bars in Downtown Brooklyn below!

42 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 347-987-3292
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Livingston Manor
Source: Livingston Manor

Livingston Manor is a cozy and eclectic neighborhood bar at the corner of Schermerhorn Street and Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Neighborhood locals love the yummy drinks and the friendly staff. This youthful bar is known for having a lively evening crowd and a fun drink menu.

Their cocktails are the main highlight of their drinks menu: creative concoctions with clever names.

Popular beverages include the “Ginny-the-Pooh” (honey gin, Lillet, and dry vermouth with honey bitters and lemon) and the “Doctor Livingstone, I Presume” (dark rum, velvet falernum, Batavia arrack, Swedish punsch, and citrus).

House of Wax

445 Albee Square W #4410, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-513-2547
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House of Wax
Source: House of Wax

For a theatrical experience that brings out your inner goth, head over to the House of Wax. Here, they blend excellent cocktails with a bit of macabre.

Sip on some delicious beverages while enjoying a dramatic ambiance of plush velvet and creepy wax sculptures.

Inspired by the late 1800s, the House of Wax cocktail menu is filled with modern and creative twists on old-fashioned drinks.

Be sure to try the Napoleon Death Mask (cognac, cardamaro, cynar, rhubarb bitters, bacon, and salt).

House of Wax also has a food menu, so you can snack on some fried pickles or truffle parmesan popcorn while you enjoy your drink.


189 Bridge St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-222-1010
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Source: Amarachi

Amarachi shares the beauty and talent of the African diaspora with the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood.

Also a restaurant, Amarachi’s bar is quite popular for anyone looking to plan a special event or just yearning for a fun night out.

At Amarachi, the bartenders are attentive, and they keep the drinks flowing. While you enjoy your Caribbean and African cuisine, consider indulging in some of their yummy rum punch.

Their mojitos, mint juleps, and sidecars are worth a try, as well. If you want to fully embrace African cuisine, you can also try one of their Nigerian beers.

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The Rockwell Place

31 Rockwell Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 917-909-1093
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The Rockwell Place
Source: The Rockwell Place

If you are looking for a chill bar to grab a cocktail or two with friends, The Rockwell Place is the perfect spot.

Nestled in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, Rockwell Place has beautiful high ceilings with skylights and plenty of seating to relax and unwind.

The Rockwell Place rises to the occasion when it comes to meeting Brooklyn cocktail standards—their thorough menu consists of clever and flavorful drinks.

Examples include the Hot Rod (an Old-Fashioned with rye, apple brandy, Lustau East India Solera Sherry, and cranberry bitters) and a Scotch & (Coconut) Soda.

Someday Bar NYC

364 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 929-480-8454
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Someday Bar NYC
Source: Someday Bar NYC

Follow the pink neon sign to find this fun and friendly Brooklyn bar. Combine great hospitality with a deep knowledge of mixology, and you have the Someday Bar.

The spunky and welcoming vibe of this bar is sure to entice you in, and the quality drinks and service will motivate you to stay for many hours.

Beer fans will be happy to hear that Someday Bar has 17 different beers on tap, as well as 17 bottles and 170 cans.

This bar also does well with their cocktails—try the Jabberwocky for a classy gin cocktail or the Giggle Juice for something flirty and fruity.

Bohemien Bar

97 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 347-844-9895
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Bohemien Bar
Soure: Bohemien Bar

Bohemien Bar is all about being a chill, artsy place to have some drinks, grab some bar food, and enjoy some music.

They focus on creating the right environment with their decor, noise level, and sound quality, and patrons rave about the quality of their cocktails and food.

If you have a chance to visit, try the “Mambo No. 5,” a playful tropical cocktail made with rum, apricot, almond, and a few other sweet treats.

For a more sophisticated and bitter drink, the vodka-based Butterfly is sure to satisfy. And don’t forget to try the food—the mac and cheese bites are a fan-favorite.

The Binc

60 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-624-1444
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The Binc
Source: The Binc

The Binc is a fashionable and vintage-style bar with a warm ambiance and a mix of Art Deco and turn-of-the-century decor.

If the attractive environment and sophisticated clientele don’t make you want to stay, the scrumptious cocktails will lure you in.

All of the cocktails are impeccably balanced with thoughtful and intriguing flavors. For a vodka and prosecco cocktail that has a subtle herbal hint, try out the “As Thyme Goes By.” For something a little more traditional, you can’t go wrong with the “Maple Old-Fashioned.”


136 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 917-882-7395
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Source: Elsa

Elsa is a light, open bar with a feminine slant. Marble and brass decor give the space a classic but modernized feel.

The bright mood of Elsa makes it perfect for a casual social gathering of friends on a weekend night.

In terms of drinks, they have plenty of the typical cocktails you would expect to see at a quality cocktail bar, as well as a decent selection of beers and wine.

See also  The Ultimate Guide to the Tribeca Bar Scene

Elsa does get adventurous as well, with funky original cocktails like the “Queen of Swords,” a combination of amaro, whiskey, and matcha horchata.

Grand Army

336 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 718-643-1503
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Grand Army
Source: Grand Army

For a neighborhood pub feel, you have to go to Grand Army. Located on State Street, this hip and casual bar combines the trendiness of New York with the charming residential feel that you like to see in Brooklyn.

The drinks menu does not disappoint—creative ingredients mixed by an experienced bartender make for a delightful evening.

They change the menu seasonally, so be sure to stop by regularly to enjoy the new items. And if you have an appetite, Grand Army’s raw bar is a fantastic addition to any night out.

The Brazen Head

228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-488-0430
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The Brazen Head
Source: The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head is a charming neighborhood bar with an impressive selection of craft beers and high-end whiskeys.

This is an excellent place to check out if you want an authentic Downtown Brooklyn experience: locals love to stop by for happy hour specials and complimentary bar snacks.

For drinks, this bar is best for folks who have a big whiskey obsession. Their menu of bourbon, rye, and whiskey is noteworthy—if you want to spring for something fancy, try the 12-year WhistlePig. Other drink selections include wine and tequila.

33 Lafayette

33 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 347-987-4073
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33 Lafayette
Source: 33 Lafayette

33 Lafayette is a Caribbean and Haitian bar with a soothing and charming atmosphere. Their menu is fresh, simple, and delightful.

33 Lafayette is the perfect Brooklyn location for an intimate date night: enjoy some reggae music while you get to know each other over a tropical cocktail.

For drinks, you’ll want to try the Haitian Passion, made with dark rum, passion fruit, and a blend of juices.

They also have a fantastic selection of flavored martinis and margaritas. The mango margarita is my current favorite on the menu.

Fulton Hall

250 Ashland Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 718-673-6740
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Fulton Hall
Source: Fulton Hall

Fulton Hall is the place to be if you’re looking for a chill sports bar in Downtown Brooklyn. This spot is popular, so be prepared for a crowd, but the staff is always welcoming and provides excellent service. This bar and restaurant is family-friendly, so feel free to bring the kids.

This bar has a nice selection of draft beers and a great deal on pitchers for the whole table. Their cocktails are fun, too—the Basil Lemonade cocktail has classic Brooklyn vibes, and the Old Fashioned is quite tasty.


126 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-243-9005
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Source: Superfine

Superfine engages closely with the New York community, showcasing local artists’ work and only using sustainable agriculture and fresh ingredients in their dishes. This spot has some great food and yummy beverages, perfect for a night out on the town.

Alongside your delicious meal, be sure to try one of Superfine’s handcrafted cocktails. I recommend the rye-based cocktail “Basil Daisy” or the Apple Brandy Sidecar. They also have a decent list of draft beers worth checking out.

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68 Jay Street Bar

68 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
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68 Jay Street Bar
Source: 68 Jay Street Bar

68 Jay Street Bar is a sophisticated bar with an artsy vibe that evokes an old-world European hangout. The aesthetics are amazing, with terracotta archways and paint-splattered on the walls.

While seemingly highbrow, the prices are relatively accessible, making it an excellent spot for anyone wanting to experience the Brooklyn art social scene.

This classy place sticks to the basics: three beers on tap and a few bottles and cans, as well as a petite wine list.

They also have a modest list of cocktails offered, mainly sticking to finely tuned versions of the classics, such as a martini or manhattan.

O’Keefe’s Bar & Grill

62 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-855-8751
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O'Keefe's Bar & Grill
Source: O’Keefe’s Bar & Grill

To get a piece of old-school Brooklyn, head over to O’Keefe’s Bar & Grill, which has been in business for over 45 years.

This wholesome and welcoming neighborhood spot makes you feel right at home with warm exposed brick walls, simple dark wood decor, and a charming black and white tiled floor.

O’Keefe’s has a notable selection of beers on tap, with 20 different brews to choose from. They also offer a list of specialty cocktails made with fresh and tasty ingredients. If you have a sugar craving, I suggest having a Court Street Crush.

Custom House

139 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-643-6000
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Custom House
Source: Custom House

Located near the water, Custom House is a beautiful and special space to have some food and an alcoholic beverage.

The stunning long marble bar is paired with a fireplace and cozy seating area that will easily draw you in. Beloved by both locals and tourists, Custom House is a reliable favorite.

For drinks, I like their Timeless Martini, which you can opt to have with a blue cheese-stuffed olive for a little extra flair.

If you want something a little more sugary and playful, the Choco-tini makes for a great dessert cocktail.

Mo’s Bar & Lounge

80 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 718-797-2849

Mo's Bar & Lounge
Source: Mo’s Bar & Lounge

Stop in the Fort Greene neighborhood for a fun and casual pub experience at Mo’s Bar & Lounge. This is an excellent spot to let loose on the weekend and have a good time.

The ambiance is lively and rowdy, but the staff is quite attentive and professional, making it perfect for a group of adults looking to have a relaxing but entertaining experience.

Mo’s doesn’t cheap out on their drinks, so you can expect a quality beverage when you order here.

Enjoy some happy hour margaritas while digging into some of the yummy barbecue food they offer on their dining menu.

With so many fun and unique bars in the Downtown Brooklyn area, it can be hard to parse through them all to find the right fit for you.

I hope this list of the best bars in Downtown Brooklyn helps you determine which places you want to visit on your night out.

If you want more Brooklyn dining tips, be sure to check out this article on brunch spots around town!

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.